HUD Announces Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant Awards

On September 5, HUD announced that it is awarding $4.8 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to six communities. The grants, funded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, will help local leaders craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform neighborhoods.

Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals: replacing distressed public and assisted housing, improving the outcomes of people living in assisted housing, and creating the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods.

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HUD Announces Lead-Based Paint Capital Fund Program Awards

On September 5, HUD announced that it is awarding $18 million to 20 public housing agencies through their Lead-Based Paint Capital Fund Program. The funds are used to ensure public housing developments that were tested and abated over twenty years ago remain lead-free. In FY 2017, Congress appropriated $25 million to be available for competitive grants to PHAs to evaluate and reduce lead-based paint hazards in public housing. According to HUD, “[w]hile lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, many older homes may still contain hazards that require proper cleanup.” Grants are available for risk assessments, abatement, and interim controls as defined in Section 1004 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. These grants are subject to normal PHA regulations.

A list of PHAs receiving awards can be found in HUD’s press release.

 

 

Fair Housing Webinar – Tuesday, 9/11/2018

Housing Rules e-Briefing Series

 Fair Housing Discussion –

An AFFH Update & Commenting to HUD

September 11, 2018

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET


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There have been a lot of new developments surrounding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) in recent weeks. Join the NAHRO Policy Team as they discuss the lawsuit against HUD concerning the AFFH Tools and HUD’s decision to reopen the AFFH rule. HUD is also seeking input from the public and stakeholders on what the new, updated AFFH rules should contain and address. NAHRO encourages all members to share their first-hand knowledge and experience in affirmatively furthering fair housing. The NAHRO Policy Team will also provide an overview of how to prepare an effective and persuasive comment letter to HUD.

$95 Members / $195 Nonmembers

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e-Briefings are different from our online courses in that not every person watching must be registered.

We require only one registration per device.

Registration closes at 11:59pm eastern time Monday, September 10, 2018.

Vera Expands Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative

Last week, the Vera Institute of Justice, announced the expansion of its Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative. The initiative is a “national project that aims to substantially change public housing admissions policies and reduce barriers that prevent people from safely and successfully reentering their communities once released from prison or jail.” Two individual PHAs and two consortia entities were selected after a competitive selection process: Lafayette Housing Authority; Oklahoma City Housing Authority; the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego in collaboration with five other housing authorities; and a consortium of five agencies led by the Delaware State Housing Authority.

These housing authorities will receive up to 12 months of technical assistance to conduct the following activities:

  • “Safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories or juvenile records to improve reentry outcomes and reduce recidivism rates.
  • Improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies.
  • Promote collaboration between public housing authorities, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders to effectively reduce crime and improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prisons and jails.”

Vera’s full press release can be found here.

Vera’s Opening Doors fact sheet can be found here.

 

HUD Increases HCV Administrative Fee Proration to 80%

Yesterday, HUD’s Housing Voucher Financial Management Division sent a letter to PHA Executive Directors and certain Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Representatives announcing that the 2018 administrative fee will increase from 76 percent to 80 percent. The Department notes that the final number may change again based on national leasing behavior and finding additional funding. The additional administrative fee funding will be obligated during September 2018. The Department also notes that for portability, it is recommended that PHAs continue to use the original estimated 76 percent proration from January to July and begin to use the new 80 percent proration in August.

While NAHRO is pleased that HUD has found the funds to increase the administrative fee proration to 80 percent, we will continue to stress to decision-makers in Washington, D.C., the importance of fully funding this account.

The full letter can be found here.

HUD Publishes FY 2019 FMRs

In a notice titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy, and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2019,” HUD announced the publication of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Fair Market Rents (FMRs). Comments on the FMRs are due by October 1, 2018. The effective date of the FMRs are October 1, 2018.

The methodology used to calculate these FMRs remain the same as it was for the FY 2018 FMRs. The methodology used to calculate these Small Area FMRs remain the same as it was for the FY 2018 Small Area FMRs. The Department is continuing to implement certain changes (which NAHRO commented on) made in calculating FY 2018 Small Area FMRs. Additionally, as mandated by the Small Area FMR rule, HUD is limiting the amount a FMR or Small Area FMR may decrease to no greater than 10 percent.

The notice also discusses the calculation of Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs)–the annual inflation factor by which voucher renewal funding is increased. The Department was considering changing how it calculates RFIFs. The Department notes that most comments “directed HUD to continue using FMR surveys in the calculation of RFIFs.” (Read NAHRO’s RFIF comments here.) The Department is still contemplating how best to incorporate research surveys into the calculation of RFIFs.

FY 2019 FMRs can be found here.

FY 2019 Small Area FMRs can be found here.

The notice announcing the publication of the FMRs can be found here.

HUD Issues Notice Suspending HOME 24-Month Commitment Requirement

On August 27, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published notice CPD-18-10, titled “Suspension of 24-Month Commitment Requirement for Deadlines Occurring in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.” The FY18 omnibus contained a hard-fought provision, first included in the FY 2017 omnibus, which suspended the HOME program’s statutory 24-month commitment requirement for HOME funds that are set to expire in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The commitment requirement was widely viewed as a difficult and unnecessary deadline for participating jurisdictions (PJs) to meet.

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Last Week of August Advocacy: Support HUD Funding!

It’s the final week of August advocacy! We’ve sent over 2,000 letters to Congress in August – a good number, but still well below our goal of 3,000 letters. Please take action now to support responsible funding for housing and community development in FY 2019.

House and Senate Appropriations staff are currently working to negotiate a final Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill. Using the Senate-approved FY 2019 THUD bill and the House Appropriations Committee-approved bill, staffers are in the process of “conferencing” these two pieces of legislation into a single bill, likely to be passed as a larger spending package. This means important decisions about spending levels for housing and community development programs are being made right now. Make sure your voice is heard in this process by sending a letter to your members of Congress today.

Please help us reinforce the importance of responsible funding for housing and community development programs and help NAHRO send 3,000 letters to Capitol Hill this month – reach out to your members of Congress now!

HUD Awards FY 18 Emergency Safety and Security Grants

HUD has awarded on $5 million to 22 public housing agencies across the country for Emergency and Security Improvements.  The FY18 omnibus provided $21.5 million for grants to PHAs for emergency capital needs resulting from unforeseen or unpreventable emergencies and natural disasters, excluding presidentially declared emergencies and natural disasters under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act. This included a set-aside of $5 million reserved for safety and security emergencies. HUD’s Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program supports public housing authorities as they address the safety of public housing residents. These grants may be used to install, repair, or replace capital needs items including security systems/surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting systems, emergency alarm systems, window bars, deadbolt locks and doors.

HUD’s press release can be found here.